Innocence & Expression – Programme1
Michelle Reader led 6 exciting sessions on ‘Miniature worlds’ using recycled materials, inspired by books such as ‘The Tin Forest’ and artists such as Su Blackwell as well as her own work. For the first three sessions participants experimented with making creatures, flowers, plants, pop-ups using mixed media. She introduced the idea of creating miniatures worlds using magazines, wrapping paper, cardboard, collage, bottle tops, magazines and tubes to explore ideas. They then invented 3D creatures for their miniature world including a zebra, unicorns, dog a robot and a sea monster. They learnt a variety of techniques including construction and making paper cut-outs. They drew and modelled in clay to design and develop ideas on the types of creatures that might populate their imaginary worlds. Participants exhibited everything to a table top fantastical forest installation and were presented with certificates to celebrate their hard work and achievements.
To cater for the wide age range of 6 to 18 participants engaged in each activity on different levels of complexity, and choices of techniques and materials to suit different abilities. The work was very visual and physical to overcome any language barriers and techniques were demonstrated manually and examples shown. Some participants began the sessions with behaviour issues, had learning difficulties or Autism. Participants who were left to work independently away from parents integrated better into the group and they followed their own ideas in a more independent way, responding to the various materials. Participants grew in confidence and supported each other. Occasionally participants would get frustrated and make negative comments about their work but they learnt to persevere, keep focussed and achieve positive things. Friendships were made with the young people mingling and communicating more towards the end of the programme.
“I felt shy at the beginning before I knew everyone. I’m really proud of my work.”
“I enjoyed being here and having fun”
“Today has been a lovely day. I had fun. I worked hard and tried my best.”
“Be happy and learn” – Rebecca
“I enjoyed having fun and making new friends (I would love to come here again)”
“I love art because I can learn how to draw”
“I love this place. It’s amazing!”
“I think it cool!”
“I love this place. The thing I enjoyed the most is making the unicorn.”